Fish close to clinching spot at ATP finals

BY foxsports • November 9, 2011

Chasing a spot at the ATP World Tour Finals has proven quite stressful for Mardy Fish.

The American is just one win away from securing his ticket to the season-ending tournament in London for the first time after routing Florian Mayer of Germany 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday.

That victory is likely to be enough by itself after two of his closest rivals - Gilles Simon and Nicolas Almagro - both lost on Wednesday. But Fish could still be overtaken by Janko Tipsarevic in the points race for a spot at the season-ending tournament in London unless he beats Juan Monaco of Argentina on Thursday.

And after spending the last couple of weeks fretting over his fate, Fish wants to settle the issue as quickly as possible.

''It would be a weight off my shoulders for sure just to get there and know that I'm going to be in,'' Fish said. ''It's been pretty stressful the past few weeks of clicking on and making sure that no one played at like 2 a.m. while I was sleeping, even though I knew that they didn't.''

A spot at the ATP finals, which features the top eight players of the year and prize pool of more than $8 million, would cap the best season of Fish's career after breaking into the top 10 in the rankings for the first time.

The 29-year-old American is currently ranked ninth in the world and reached a career-high No. 7 this summer.

''I have never been in this position before, so it's hard not to look at the race and the rankings and things like that,'' Fish said. ''I'm a human being like everyone else, so I have looked at it a lot and know all the scenarios. I also know that if I win one more match then I'm in, so that's the goal.''

An appearance in London would also help back up Fish's status as the top American player, a title that has belonged to Andy Roddick for most of the last decade. Roddick has made six appearances at the ATP finals - previously known as the Masters Cup - but has slipped to 15th in the rankings and can't qualify for London.

''I feel like I want to represent what it means to be the No. 1 American,'' Fish said. ''I want to represent what it means to be a top 10 player.''

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